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Full text of "A history of Persia"

264                  HISTORY OF PERSIA                 CHAP.
main army, however, advanced, and Shah Abbas was
induced to open up negotiations for peace. In A.H. 1027
(i618) the terms agreed to in the previous treaty were
accepted, except that Shah Abbas bound himself to a gift
of one hundred loads of silk, instead of the two hundred
previously agreed upon.
Seven years later a Turkish army besieged Baghdad
with only four light fieldpieces. The siege dragged on
for six months, and Shah Abbas then came to the rescue.
After fierce fighting, with heavy losses on both sides,
a mutiny forced the Turkish leaders to retreat, and
thousands of their men died from starvation.
These campaigns were the first in which the advantage
lay distinctly with Persia. Although the Sultan was
generally the aggressor, the Shah's troops proved that
they could at least hold their own against the enemy.
The Embassies of Sir Robert Sherley.—Sir Robert Sherley
was appointed Master-General of the Persian army, and
while holding this position won great distinction in the
Turkish wars. The Shah bestowed many tokens of his
favour on the gallant Englishman, among them being
a grant of bread for sixty years ! In spite of the failure
of Anthony's mission, Abbas determined to despatch
Robert Sherley on an embassy to the European powers.
• He left Persia in 1609 and visited Poland, Germany, and
Rome. In 1611 he reached England, where he was well
received by the King, but the object of his mission, which
was to open up direct trade relations between Persia and
England, met with strong opposition from the Levant
merchants and was not at the time attained. Sherley
remained in England a year and returned to Persia by
way of India in an English ship,
In 1623 Sir Robert Sherley came to England on
a second mission. On this occasion his position was
weakened by the arrival of another ambassador from Shah
Abbas in the person of a certain Nakd AH Beg,1 who,
upon meeting Sherley, assaulted him. The English
knight finally returned to' Persia with Sir Dodmore
1 We learn from the Court Minutes of the East India Company that Nakd All Beg
before his departure was presented with his portrait " exactly and curiously drawn by
Mr. Greenburie." The artist also painted a replica which is hung in the India Office.